“This is the game you look forward to all year,” said Colfax senior quarterback Michael Wilson. “With all our history and past games played, I think most of us mark this game with a big X in the beginning of the season. With both of our teams being undefeated, it makes it even more of a big deal.”
The undefeated Colfax Falcons travel to Bear River today to try their hand against the mighty and unblemished Bruins (5-0).
Both teams come into the contest with clean records but vastly different approaches.
The Bruins are a run heavy team averaging 235.2 rushing yards per game. With the national average being only 186.7 rushing yards per game they truly are a team that looks to run first, pass second.
The Falcons are almost the exact opposite. With Wilson’s rocket arm, they look to take advantage of that at all times, passing more often than not.
Wilson averages 289 yards per game through the air, and the ground game chips in 102.6 yards per game.
Wilson’s arm strength is matched by his accuracy with 22 touchdowns this season and only four interceptions. Wilson has completed 106 of 156 passes for completion percentage of 67.9.
Both teams are more than capable of putting points on the board as Colfax is averaging 38 points per game and Bear River is averaging 35.
The Falcons have an imposing three-headed monster that comprises their receiving corps, starting with senior Chas Reisinger. The 5-foot, 11-inch beast of a player has 32 receptions on the season so far, averaging 18.41 yards a catch for a total of 589 yards. He also leads the team with nine touchdowns.
“I can’t wait for this game.” Reisinger said. “It’s payback for last year. We are ready for them, so they better watch out.”
The second part of their air attack is the speedy senior Kyle Bryant. The 5-foot, 11-inch wide receiver has been a real key player all season long, contributing 32 receptions, as well, for an average of 13.13 yards per catch for a total of 420 yards on the season. He’s also pulled in six touchdowns so far for the season.
“We have been really working well as a team,” Bryant said. “Working together and knowing how you can best help your team is always the key to winning. We have been doing great in practice all year, and that makes us all feel more confident when game time comes around because we are so well prepared for any situation that happens in a game.”
The third head of the three-headed monster is senior wide receiver Chris Harshman. At 6-foot, 1-inch, 170 pounds he is a big part of their success. With 25 receptions on the season, averaging 12.92 yards a catch for a total of 323 yards and two touchdowns, he has been a great contribution to the air attack, as well.
“We are all ready to go out there and show Bear River who we are,” Harshman said. “Last year’s game left a bad taste in our mouths, and we are ready for them. They better watch out for us.”
Don’t count out the Falcons’ running game, though. Tonight will be only the second time this season that star running back Tim Rawlins, a junior, will suit up after battling injuries all year.
The game is especially meaningful to Rawlins as last year, on only the second play of the opening drive, he rushed down the field 62 yards for a quick touchdown, one of only two scores they were able to put on the board last year.
“I have been waiting a year to get back on the field against the Bruins.” Rawlings said. “This is payback time. We are ready to go out there and do our thing and put some points on the board and ultimately bring home a victory for the Falcons. We deserve it, we have been working hard all year long, game time and in practice, and we are ready for them. I just hope they are ready for us.”
As for the Falcon defense, they have been able to hold teams to an average of only 15 points per game. The defense has 319 total tackles on the season and six fumble recoveries.
“Our defense has really come together this year as a team and a cohesive unit, and it has showed in our performance come game time,” Colfax defensive coach Jeff Baggett said.
Despite having missed last weeks game against Mesa Verde, starting senior linebacker and running back Jake Medeiros is confident he will suit up for tonight’s game.
“I haven’t had any real setbacks this week in practice so I should be ready to go for tonights game,” Medeiros said. “But as always, coach makes the final decision. They better hope he sits me; otherwise, I’m bringing the hurt on ‘em.
“There is nothing more frustrating to a player than having to watch from the sidelines when all you want to do in run out there on the field and play some football.”
Medeiros has pulled double duty all season, digging in on both offense and defense. He has 21 carries on the year for an average of 4.43 yards per carry and he has rushed in three touchdowns.
Star senior linebacker Mario Margherita is also pumped and ready to go.
“Our defense is ready to bring the heat; they just better look out,” The 5-foot, 9-inch, 205-pounder said. “This game is always kind of a big deal around here, with our schools being so close together and all. Some of these kids we have known and played with or against for years. So this game really means a lot to all of us. Plus you can talk smack to each other and we all talk a lot.”
The Falcons travel to Bear River today for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff time.
Melissa McKnight is a freelance writer who lives in Grass Valley. To contact her email firstname.lastname@example.org.